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Keeping Your Laptop Protected

By on May 5, 2012 in Laptops, TechnoTropis |

The great thing about a laptop and what sets it apart from a desktop PC is of course the fact that it is portable. However this can also sometimes be the bad thing about a laptop, if it means that you end up damaging it when out and about; while they are portable they are not invulnerable, so it’s very important that you are cautious with them and this means taking a number of precautions and generally avoiding a variety of common threats to the humble laptop. Here are some things to consider. Invest in a Good BagIf you’re carrying your laptop around with you often then you need to make sure that you have something to carry it around in and to that end you should invest in a good bag whether that’s a dedicated laptop bag or a more general backpack or side satchel. Ensure that this is well padded and that it’s a good size for your laptop – the very best ones will be those that aren’t too big and that fit the laptop relatively snuggly so that they don’t move around too much inside. Keep Things SeparateBut then once you’ve done this you don’t want to then go ahead and stuff some wires in their complete with a socket plug. All this will do is scratch the surface of the laptop when it gets moved around and in worst case scenarios it can press against the top of the laptop and break the monitor. Avoid this by making sure that your bag has separate pockets and that you utilize these – and never stuff the bag too full. Invest in a Protective SleeveNo matter how good the bag you’ve got is, you still need a protective sleeve to prevent things inside the bag from scratching it – even the zip can be an enemy so this extra layer of protection is a very good idea. Use a JumperIf you want to be really safe then it won’t hurt to wrap a jumper around your laptop while it’s in the bag. This will protect it against all kinds of impacts and it will ultimately mean that if you forget and place it down heavily, you won’t need to worry about the laptop breaking. Don’t Run AroundEven if your laptop is as snug as a bug in a rug, you don’t want to run about with it or swing your bag around as this can unseat the harddrive, try to keep it as still as possible at all times. Double Check SurfacesYou need to be selective about which surfaces you use your laptop on. First of all, make sure that you don’t choose surfaces that are too small, or you will risk the laptop of course falling off. And at the same time be sure that you don’t put it on anything wet or sticky. Finally try to keep your laptop away from bedclothes and other insulating surfaces as this can cause it to overheat and that in turn can damage the vital aspects of your machine. Stand Drinks ElsewhereIf you have a cup of tea or a glass of water then this doesn’t belong on your desk or on the table next to your laptop – it belongs on a separate table where you might have to reach for it, but where you at least know you’re not going to spill onto your machine. James Wang is a blogger and an engineer providing IT support in melbourne. His work has helped make important changes in the field of technology. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for...

Hactivism: Is It Going Too Far?

By on May 2, 2012 in TechnoTropis |

Hacktivism is actually a relatively new term – an amalgamation of the hacker and the activist. Given the way that hackers are usually portrayed by the government and media, the name seems somewhat of a contradiction, but when you consider that a lot of the things hacktivists stand for are things the government oppose… Well, you get the picture. However, recently it seems that some of the actions hactivists have taken in protest seem to be going a little too far, causing problems for regular people like you and me. So when did it start?Hacktivism truly began before there was even a term for it – apart from, of course, plain old “hacking”. In October 1989, a source attacked computers connected to NASA, DOE and HEPNET in protest of the Galileo space probe which was headed to Jupiter, fuelled by radioactive plutonium. The hacker released a worm into the system, which changed the login screen of computers to read: ‘WORMS AGAINST NEUCLEAR KILLERS. Your system has been officially WANKed.’ NASA estimated it cost around half a million dollars in resources and time to resolve it, and to make matters worse, the hacker was never discovered. And so hacktivism was born. Why is it so big now?Hacktivism has been steadily growing for over a decade. In 2000 there was what was considered a big rise in complaints to the Internet Crime Complaint Centre, around 16,000 complaints were made. By 2008 this had risen to a whopping 257,000 complaints. Over the last few years, hactivists have come out of the woodwork and given themselves voices by forming groups and claiming responsibility for certain attacks. Perhaps the most vocal of all groups is ‘Anonymous’, responsible for many large hacks over political issues over the last two years. There are many reasons hacktivism is constantly on the increase. People are becoming more and more despondent towards the attitudes of governments across the world. Uprisings are snowballing off each other and political protests, like the “Occupy…” movements are hitting a note with many. As computer knowledge increases, hacking does too. Once it was just something dejected 30 year olds still living in their parent’s basement would do, but now anyone unhappy with the world we live in can become involved in it through hacking groups. Hacktivist groups breed fearlessness, as there is a sense that you won’t get caught as you are part of a network. How far will it go?Although many can empathise with the hacktivists and why they attack the targets they do, there has also been a backlash. ‘Anonymous’s’  “Operation DarkNet” was generally praised by all, as it took down over 40 child pornography sites and published the names of over 1,500 users, inviting the FBI and Interpol to investigate further. However, their threats to “shut down the internet” for a day on the 31st March 2012 have been met with criticism – many don’t believe they can disrupt the internet for more than a few minutes, let alone a day. Many are also worried that it will disrupt the running of small businesses and people who depend on the internet for their livelihood. Hacktivists targets continue getting bigger, as do their groups, despite various members being arrested by police across the world. It remains to be seen whether hacktivists will continue widening their net and attacking anything that they disagree with, or whether they will concentrate on government agencies and political agendas. Hactivism began as a way to protest against legitimate causes, but is spiralling into hacking with malicious intent. How far do you think hacktivism will go? Source Jasmine Ayres blogs for ArcIT, one of the UKs leading IT outsourcing companies. She is an expert in IT support and writes to inform readers of issues regarding technology and IT. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for...

The Best Educational Websites On The Net

By on Apr 30, 2012 in TechnoTropis |

Bored with surfing the web? Sick of skimming along the same old shallow sites? Need to splash into deeper electronic pools (and other tenuous water metaphors)? Here are our Top Educational Websites in the world, today. FreericeFreerice is a general knowledge quiz with a difference. The more fun you have on it, the more it donates to charity. The premise is simple. Every time you answer one of their multiple choice questions, the site sponsors promise to donate 10 grains of rice to the hungry and needy. The more people that brush up on their general knowledge – including a variety of topics, from science to English vocabulary – the more rice is given to the U.N. World Food Programme. Last year, Freerice gave hundreds of millions of rice grains each month and this year should be even better. Open Yale CoursesIt’s become common for the best universities in the world to post some of their lectures online, but Yale does it better than anyone else. Open Yale Courses is an extensive resource, containing 35 whole courses, each with free downloads of the individual classes (as audio and video). Now you can upload this wealth of information to your iPod or phone and learn while you’re on the move. Khan AcademySalman Khan was a hedge-fund manager, who decided to tutor his cousin using the internet in 2004. Two years later he began to place his insightful movie-clips onto YouTube and in 2009 he left his job so he could dedicate himself to online tutorials. The result is Khan Academy, a building-free university with just the one professor. The site has thousands of free videos, no longer than 10 minutes each and they’re highly accessible. The key topics are science and maths, but the syllabus is continually expanding and learners of all age are welcome. StarfallAnother educational site tops our list and this is probably the best of the lot. Stephen Schutz, the founder of Blue Mountain Arts, the giant greeting-card company, invested a large part of his wealth in children’s education. Inspired by his own struggles as a child read, he has helped develop a new website called Starfall, which helps teach children to read. Starfall is a free to use and is aimed at children in their early years. It uses phonics to introduce the alphabet, before supplying an enormous amount of animated videos, including storybooks, comics and nursery rhymes. It’s simple and fun and perfect for children. Written by Ant for Pixel Design Studio, with over 15 years experience of website design & web development, and experts in ecommerce. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for...

The Value of Having a Good Computer Repair Tech

By on Apr 25, 2012 in TechnoTropis |

In this day and age, many people have become reliant on their PC for all of their daily routine. For some, a malfunctioning PC means productivity. For others, the a malfunctioning PC means that a paper cannot be completed on time or that leisure activities like surfing the internet come to a halt. In recognizing the value of having a good computer repair tech, there is no reason for anyone’s life to be put on hold because of their PC problems. We all will have computer problems somewhere alone the wayAnyone who has owner a PC long enough knows that problems are sure to occur eventually with a computer. Parts age, updates go wrong, hard drives crash, data gets corrupted and software malfunctions. All of this comes with having a computer. Fix-it-yourself issues are problematic for those with a limited understanding of how PC’s work. On the outside of the PC, the features look simple enough. There are a few buttons, a screen and a mouse. But internally, there are so many more components. From software to hardware, there is a lot to the PC. And because there is so much to the internal functioning of the PC, a person has to quickly tackle the learning curve in order to be semi-proficient in fixing and troubleshooting the PC. This is commonly where the fix-it-yourself problems occur. People who attempt to take on the challenge of restoring their PC to its fully-functioning state can end up making the problems worse. Research online, but trust a known expert.With a wealth of information available on the internet about how to go about fixing a PC, it’s easy to get confused. How does one go about protecting personal information? How does the PC expose the individual to security threats? How does one protect sensitive data? How does one avoid losing data permanently? Advice for protecting sensitive data from theft or permanent loss should be guided by a good computer repair tech. A good computer tech will also be able to help coordinate a preventive maintenance plan for the user, recommending certain steps and measures to protect the costly investment. Keeping the computer functioning at its best is more easily done with the assistance and guidance of a good computer repair technician. Having a good computer repair tech is essential for those who are heavily reliant on their computer for professional, entertainment and educational purposes. Although many do not see the value of having a good computer repair tech, it is beneficial to have a professional accessible who is able to troubleshoot and fix any PC problems. Brian Lawson is owner operator of Datadrive.  A PC repair Tucson based company that has been helping businesses and home users for more than 20 years.  A good Tucson PC repair shop, or one from any area will answer all of your questions about your computer problems before you take it in for service. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for...

Top 3 Must Have Alienware Accessories

By on Apr 24, 2012 in TechnoTropis |

If you are the proud new owner of an Alienware computer or laptop and you are into gaming, you might want to look into acquiring some accessories. Accessories for laptops and computers can make them run much better than they normally would or can make them more convenient to use. There are also accessories that increase their portability. Here is a list of the top three accessories for an Alienware computer. Laptop and Computer Cooling UnitsAny computer can overheat which can cause some major internal damage and should be avoided at all costs. Gaming computers are especially susceptible to this because of the amount of power they draw from the computer to run higher quality graphics. A cooling pad with special fans built in is an excellent accessory to have for Alienware laptops to help keep them from overheating. There are also special cases for Alienware PCs that will keep the unit cooler. Carrying CasesA lot of people buy Alienware laptops for gaming purposes and they often enjoy gaming with their friends. Laptops are very portable systems which makes special carrying cases one of the top 3 must have Alienware accessories. There are a lot of options out there, but the best cases will have a lot of room in them and plenty of padding to absorb shocks to keep the laptop safe. They also have many compartments for various things like mouses, flash drives, CDs and DVDs, headsets and so on. They are made specifically for transporting a laptop safely and for easy storage. MiceA lot of people use a standard three button mouse for their PCs or the touch pad that is on a laptop. However, these tend to be unsatisfactory for video game enthusiasts that do a lot of their gaming on their computers. A mouse with extra features is definitely in the top three accessories for Alienware systems. Many gaming mouses have extra buttons for the thumb to access that can have macros assigned to them. This allows the mouse to execute extra functions or a string of commands that can make gaming a breeze. They also usually allow you to change the sensitivity of the mouse. By doing this, your mouse will respond a lot faster with the cursor zooming across the screen or it may go slower so that it can be more accurate. Any of these Alienware accessories will make your gaming experience much better. This is because they make gaming easier, help you safely transport your system and will keep your system running well for much longer. The prices will vary depending on the quality of the item and extra features it comes with, but they are worth it. With six stores across Western Australia, Austin Computers Perth offer high quality computers at competitive prices. Each store has a service centre for upgrades or repairs, so help is never far away. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for...

Why choose HDTV?

By on Apr 24, 2012 in TechnoTropis |

 If you missed out on the HDTV revolution, you could be missing out on superior picture and sound quality when watching new TV shows and movies filmed especially for the high-definition medium. Upgrading to HD doesn’t have to be expensive, however, opting to rent appliances rather than the costlier option of purchasing a set can save you a bundle. Advantages of HDTVSay goodbye to wavy pictures, crackly sound and poor signals, and enjoy TV as it should be. Most people who’ve experienced HDTV will be aware of the numerous benefits of this pristine format – but although the improved picture resolution and sound quality may be immediately obvious, there are other advantages of the format over standard definition TVs. The greater efficiency of digital presentation in HDTVs means incidences of data loss or corruption are much less frequent than in earlier digital TV sets. In practical terms, this means problems such as discolouration, lack of sharpness and ‘ghost’ images will not present a problem, and you can enjoy watching your favourite shows and films with all the clarity that was originally intended. Watching older shows you may see black strips on the side as the format and size of screens has changed, conversely you get a flatter view of modern day programmes on an older television. Other benefits such as being able to record programmes and pause live TV come as standard with many HDTVs, and producers are experimenting with 3D technology for homes – meaning you can watch Avatar or the latest version of Titanic as if you’re in a cinema, or get up close to the action while watching sport. How to choose a HDTVEvery TV manufacturer has embraced the high definition age, meaning you’ll have a wide range of options when it comes to choosing your ideal HDTV set – however, this can also mean navigating your way through technical jargon and many other considerations. You will need to decide on a resolution, for example, as well as the right size of TV set for your room and whether a wall-mounted or free-standing option suits you best. While it’s good to have a large screen, don’t go for a set simply because of its size – especially if you have a small lounge room. An oversized TV will also be too hard on the eyes if your room isn’t big enough for you to allow you to sit back far away enough to see the whole picture. It will be a strain on the eyes sitting so close to such a large screen!  Sarah Paige is a technology buff with plenty of experience curled up on a sofa watching a good show. As well as the best TVs available, she writes about laptops, technology, and what to look for when you rent appliances. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for...